Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
I am so fucking tired. I didn't get much sleep, then I went to play a farmers' market. So I just kinda sorta wanted to check in, you know? This is me. Checking in.
How was the farmers' market, farmboy?
It was great. I love playing things like that. You're background music, you need to be somewhat upbeat. So it's like a fuckin' workout in a way. I mean, I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but once it in a while it's really fun. It's flexing a muscle.
I also made more in tips than I did in the actual salary. That's real cool and much needed.
Good for you! Sounds like a good day.
It was. And it's gonna be a good night too. Good night, man.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Days like this are so fuckin' strange, man. I did nothing but fuckin' sleep and play on the computer and that's about it. Usually I would feel total guilt about this, but I haven't. I've only played one song on the guitar.
How about panic, farmboy? Any problems with anxiety today?
No, weirdly enough.
I've been at home all day. I didn't drive anywhere, because if I did I knew I'd spend money I don't have on bad food I don't need. You know, things with sugar or bread that I'd spread butter on. Carbs and fat. My favorite things.
Some meat, not a whole lot. I don't eat a lot of meat because I don't need a lot of meat and people eat too much meat anyway. You know, the environment and stuff. But also, meat's expensive. I can't afford a lot of meat. But, fuck, I don't need it any way. What I do eat is generally chicken and turkey. I'll eat beef once in a while and I hardly ever eat pork. (laughs) This conversation has made a strange turn, man.
I don't know if we've ever talked about food and nutrition.
There's usually more important things to talk about, which is funny 'cause food's a pretty important thing, you know? I have a lot of problems with food. This talking about it is making me nervous,man. Let's move on.
I'd like to return to discussing food one of these days, farmboy.
Okay. But not today, all right? I've had kind of an anxiety-free day and I'd like it to stay that way, man.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Good afternoon to you, farmboy. It is one beautiful day outside, isn't it? Blue sky, around 80 degrees. Very nice.
It is a very nice day. I was just outside. It's fuckin' beautiful.
I've had kind of a strange day. I could not sleep hardly at all last night. I laid in bed and fought off self-pity. So I slept in, because I can. I've gotten things done today, though. So right now I'm all shaky and nervous.
Why, farmboy? Do you need to catch up on sleep?
I don't think so. I think my blood sugar may have been low. Also, I got into a thing on Facebook with some guy I don't even know. It was political, it was about gay rights. I hate bigotry of any kind. Pisses me fuckin' off, man.
Anyway, this guy was really angry and he's one of those bully people on the internet that are just looking for a fight. So after he left like five responses for me I just called it off. I wrote that I was not going to respond to or even read his comments. This isn't the point, but I'm sure that will piss him off more than anything.
Good decision. How did that make you feel?
I felt really good about it. I felt like it was a civilized response on my part. I'm also glad that I didn't resort to getting angry at him. But mostly I'm glad that I don't feel guilty about sticking up for my opinion.
Guilty? Why in the world would you feel guilty, farmboy?
I don't know. I just feel guilty when I express my opinion. Plus I'm really lousy at arguing. I never learned how to stick up for myself.
It sounds like you're getting better at it. I'm proud of you, farmboy. This is a cliche, but it's a hard world out there. You need to have enough respect for yourself that you can support your opinions, among other things.
Yeah. I do feel good about it. Now the next step is not to read his responses, no matter how curious I am.
You've got to do what's right for you, farmboy.
I know, man. I'm trying...
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I just thought I'd check in. It's been up and down, man. I am so fuckin' worried about money, and what pisses me off is that I'm having trouble affording food and gasoline. It's fucked. I'm hoping I can make some good money when I go down to California. I wish I had the CD ready for the shows.
I wish you did too, farmboy. But maybe you'll still sell some CDs. It'll be good for you to do some performing and to see family and friend.
Not to mention the ocean. I'm looking really forward to seeing the ocean. The great Pacific. My father once told me that the Pacific is the only ocean that really counts. (laughs)
Well, that's one way to look at it, I suppose. It is a beautiful sight.
It'll all be good once I'm down there. I'm taking the bus, believe it or not. It's the cheapest way to go and it'll be the least amount of problems for my people down there. My brother can't drive all that much since the stroke. Fuckin' stroke, man. I fuckin' wish it had never happen. It's such a fuckin' drag for him. I can hear it in his voice.
It'll be good to see, though, and it will be good to see my sister. And the spouses and nieces and nephews and my friends. But there's a part of me that fuckin' hates to travel. I crave safety. I wish I didn't. I wish I liked adventure more. I used to, when I was younger.
You'll be fine, farmboy. It'll be good. You know, summer's halfway over. It goes fast.
You're telling me, man. Way too fuckin' fast. So it's a good thing I'm going to California. 'Cause I need to soak up the summer while I can, you know?
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
this is what I do
this is how the day begins
I get up out of bed
and I go back in again
in time I make the coffee
wait for the mail to come
worry about money
feel like a bum
don't matter what I do
I'm always left behind
don't matter where I go
it's the unemployment line
fill out applications
update the resume
ignore the rejections
but they just won't go away
climbing through the classifieds
cry about craigslist
think of opportunities
that don't come
or that I've missed
tell myself that all good things
will come to me in time
but I'm lying to myself
in the unemployment line
patron saint of all lost causes
I could use you now
I need all the intervention
heaven will allow
all those soul-sucking jobs
I'd be glad for one today
one with health insurance
and maybe halfway decent pay
but no one can pay me back
for all the time I've lost
my disappearing confidence
has more than paid the cost
a chance to earn a paycheck
that rightfully is mine
it's just another day
in the unemployment line
it's just another day...
Monday, July 23, 2012
I want to know what it feels like
to feel the sun on my back
and the moon in my eyes
I want to know what it feels like
when love taps you on the shoulder
and takes you by surprise
I hear there ain't nothing to it
but I don't know how to do it
but I'm willing to learn
I want to know what it feels like
to be loved
and to love in return
I want to know what it sounds like
to hear the whisper of my name
carried by the wind
I want to hear what it sounds like
when I hear your goodbye
but know you'll be back again
I know it ain't no crime
it happens all the time
but you tell me it ain't my concern
I want to know what it feels like
to be loved
and to love in return
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Man, I've been reading about the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. I don't know when I've heard about anything so fuckin' horrible. I don't know what has happened in this world. The scary thing to me was that this tragedy was so fuckin' thought out. Pre-planned. Fuck.
I know, farmboy. I don't know what to tell you. I'm as shocked as everyone, and it just makes me sad.
I read where the Westboro Baptist Church was going to protest at the memorial. At the memorial! Now, I don't know if they actually came. But I know that their leader -- what's his name? Fred something? Anyway, I guess he made comments about how God sent the shooter...
That man -- Fred Phelps is his name -- I can't stand him and his so-called church.
He's just pure fuckin' evil, man. This shit just makes me furious.
Me too, farmboy.
I just don't understand it. I can't comprehend it...
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Hey, farmboy. Good to see you. Did you go out tonight?
I went to the coffeehouse to play, and man, it was one of those nights. I mean, a night when magic happens. A lot happened, but let me tell you about a big one.
Tell me. What happened?
There's this musician, this songwriter, and he wrote this fuckin' incredible song inspired my me.
Fuckin' yours truly, man. And it's a song that celebrates this amazing community of musicians that I'm a part of. I don't hardly look at it -- I'm usually in the middle of some catastrophe that demands my attention -- but I have been extremely blessed by the people I know in my life of music.
What happened was this musician -- a good musician, by the way -- heard an introduction I did once where I talked about some bad experiences from my childhood of people telling me not to sing. And that the coffeehouse is the first place that I ever felt comfortable singing along with other people. And that's what inspired the song.
That's amazing, farmboy. How did it make you feel?
It was interesting. It was wonderful to see beauty breaking through misery. It was an important lesson. You know, that good things can come from bad times, bad experiences. I've been needing to learn that, especially with the way -- ways -- that my life has been going for quite a while.
But let's not talk about bad times and bad things. It feels good to feel good, man. It feels really good.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Yeah. They're all hard. And I'm saying that with some objectivity. Had problems sleeping. Became immobile until I fuckin' forced myself to get up and grab the guitar and work on this song I've been working on. Which, by the way, I am extremely glad about. I think I showed it to you, "Love Lives On."
Yes, I remember, farmboy. I liked it. It's pretty positive, and I'm glad you're digging inside and finding some optimism. I'm a little surprised, being that you've been depressed.
You know, I was thinking about this commencement speech that David Foster Wallace made at Kenyon University in Ohio. It's called "This is Water." It's very, very well written, of course, and there's a lot of wisdom in it. Well, at one point I thought "What does he know? He committed suicide..."
I know. He had a history of major depression.
Well, then I thought maybe he's telling himself stuff he's needed to know. My new song's kinda like that -- if, in fact, that's even true. I mean, I'm projecting here...
That's all right. Go on...
I think...I know that's what I'm doing and have done with some songs, man. I've written them because I need to fuckin' hear them, I need to tell myself what I'm saying in those songs. That's the wonderful thing about writing songs.
That's the wonderful thing about art, farmboy. Among many wonderful things.
Yeah, it's pretty amazing, man. I feel very fortunate, very blessed that I have music in my life.
That's why you were born, farmboy. To write songs and to give and receive love. In other words, to do good work. To fight the good fight.
That's what I try to do, man.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Hey, man, I just wanted to let you know that I'm here and I'm okay and you don't have to worry. I tell you this because you told me that you've been getting worried about me lately.
So you're doing all right, farmboy?
I've been depressed, but I'm always fuckin' depressed. That's why I'm on meds, you know? But I went out and performed today at the hospital for the kids with disabilities. That went well. Then I made myself go to the coffeehouse and see the folks there, and that was good. I've been isolating myself a lot lately. I feel so...fortunate? lucky? blessed?...that I have my friends at the coffeehouse. They're such good people. I'm playing there Friday night, in an in-the-round.
The people at the coffeehouse -- your friends -- they sound like they truly care about you, farmboy. I'm glad that you appreciate them as much as you do.
I'm very thankful. I think that maybe they know I'm not feeling so great lately. I try to to go in saying "blah, blah, blah, look at me, my life is so fuckin' lousy." (laughs) You know, like the way I talk with you.
That's my purpose in your life, farmboy. I want you to tell me what's really going on in your life. That's important to me. That's why I'm here.
Thanks, man. It's tough, 'cause you're the interviewer and everything, but...you know, you're the only one I share a lot of things with. I can't talk to anybody about a lot of this stuff...
You won't talk to anyone. That's your choice, that's your decision. I know your friends will listen.
And they do. I just don't want to burn them out. I don't want to burn you out either, you know.
I know, farmboy. And there's no danger of that happening.
Well, thanks. I'm very thankful you're in my life. A lot of times I don't know what I'd do without you. Thank you, man.
You're welcome, farmboy. Any time.
Talk to you tomorrow, okay?
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
everyone you've ever loved
they will never leave you
those who say it's not enough
are only trying to deceive you
the people who think
they are learned and wise
are deluding themselves
with their misleading lies
when they tell you
love lives on
every dream you've ever dreamed
breathes inside forever
no ifs, ands, or buts
dreams won't leave you
the people who think
their fate is decided
are fooling themselves
but they're only misguided
you and your dreams
will be reunited
love lives on
don't let anyone tell you
they're trying to sell you
a bushel of lies
when all is forsaken
that's when you're taken
every heart that's ever been broken
is ready for mending
that's a promise that lives unspoken
ain't no pretending
when you believe
you're completely alone
and lost on your own
there's a place in your soul
where you're always at home
that rises like the dawn
love lives on
love lives on
everyone you've ever loved
they will never leave you...
Monday, July 16, 2012
It's starting to happen, man. The daily panic.
How can you diffuse it, farmboy?
Well, I can't go smoke any weed, that's for sure. I need to change the fuckin' channel somehow. I've been busy today, doing the things that I'm supposed to do. This kinda happens -- this panic, I mean -- when I've been busy and then it's over and I should feel a little good about myself. That's what I've noticed.
So what I'm gonna do is eat something and then maybe I'll listen to the This American Life podcast. That's always one of the highlights of my week. Seriously.
That sounds like it's worth a try, farmboy. Remember, I'm here if you need me.
Thanks, man. If this doesn't work, you may be hearing from me.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
I tell you, man. I'm trying. I am in the midst of a deep, dark depression. So I'm taking the appropriate actions: Trying to eat better, making myself play guitar, forcing myself to see people. Next I need to add some exercise, no matter how little.
It sure helped to talk to you yesterday. What I learned from talking with you is maybe I need to separate the financial problems from all the emotional shit that's going on, or at least separate them to the best of my ability.
I'm so glad, farmboy. I've been awfully worried about you. I know everything is hard right now for you.
Well, I'm trying to look at the stuff that's not hard for me. I'm over that fuckin' bronchial thing I had. I have the grant to play music for kids with disabilities, so I've been playing, and I'm good at it. And even though I love weed, I think that it's a good thing to not be smokin' every single fuckin' day like I was. I miss it, of course, and I love it the few times I get to do it, but I think it's better this way.
I do too, farmboy. It's one less thing for you to be carrying around.
So I just wanted you to know that today I'm kinda okay. And I wanted to say thanks for listening yesterday.
Any time, farmboy. There's a lot of people who love you.
Ah, man, don't make me cry...
Saturday, July 14, 2012
I'm glad to see you, farmboy. How are you doing?
I'll be honest with you, man. It's fuckin' hard. I mean, damn! My mind fuckin' takes off, y'know? So I'm having this fuckin' financial crisis, and that's hard enough. But then my mind comes in and throws everything else in the fire with it. So there's financial and there's emotional. Plus I've cut down big time on weed, so I don't have that escape most of the time.
Right now I'm okay. I think I'm past the panic and anxiety of today, but then I just smoked some weed. For the first time since Sunday, which is pretty good for me. We'll see how it works out. It might be something I just have to quit.
So, man, how are you doing?
I'm fine, farmboy. Listen, I need to know whether you're okay or not. This is important to me.
I need to know that you're not in danger.
I'll be fine. I will let you know and I will let someone else know if I am in danger, as you put it. I need to stop fuckin' fantasizing about it. I can't be feeding the monster, you know?
But it's so fuckin weird, man. It's like being fuckin' possessed. It's fuckin' mental illness, man! It this feeling of complete hopelessness.
So, man, I'll let you know as time goes on.
farmboy, keep in touch...
Sure thing, man. Hey...thanks. Your listening helps more than you'll ever know.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
farmboy! Where have you been? I've been worried about you.
You were right to be worried. Man, I feel like I've got it all: I don't know how I'm gonna make it through this summer -- this month! -- and I'm feeling guilty 'cause nothing I ever do is enough. And I feel hopeless because I feel like nothing I ever do has any positive consequences, which, by the way, I know isn't true. It's the depression talking. And it just feels so fuckin' overwhelming, man.
I'm just way, way into my own head, man, too much. I isolate myself and, fuck, it's like a drug and it possesses me when I get around people, you know?
Have you been isolating yourself, farmboy?
Some days. I forced myself to go out tonight and last night to do music things. And they were okay but, again, I'm living too much in my own fucked-up head and it makes it hard to fully engage with other people. I'm glad I went , though. Action, man. I need actions.
The money thing is serious and scary. I'm trying...I did get to book a gig today. One of those senior citizens' places. They called me! I had sent them my promo sheet. The gig's not until next month, but it's a gig. I'm thankful.
But I tell you, man, I sure could use some weed.
You don't have any?
I can't afford to smoke like I used to. I took what I had and put it with my stuff in my brother's basement. So I get a little bit now and then. And, to be honest, it hasn't been bad being without it. But sometimes, man, sometimes it would fuckin' help. But I don't like this smoking it every day like I've been doing. Not just the financial part, though that's certainly the main motivator. I hate being that dependent on anything.
So, farmboy...are you okay? Is there any way I can help?
It just helps knowing that you're here, man. Am I okay? I think so. I just have to figure out some strategies. I'm not gonna commit suicide, if that's what you mean. I don't even know how to kill myself.
That's a good thing. Do you think about it?
Sometimes. But I'll never do it because of my niece. I don't want my brother or his wife to have to explain it to her.
Listen, man, I'll be fine. And if I'm not...well, I have your number and I have other people's numbers. I have the knowledge that there are people who care about me, who love me. I don't know why, but they do. Thank God.
You call me, okay? Any time, day or night.
I will, man.
(laughs) Yeah. I promise.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
today I am a failure
but that's not the end of the story
tomorrow I could be living large
ready for action
bound for glory
I don't know what the future
holds in store
but I don't believe in losing anymore
today I am nothing
smaller than a grain of sand
but tomorrow I will know
that's not who I am
damn sure I'll be walking
straight through that open door
I don't believe in losing anymore
God help me
saints preserve us
I just want
to be of service
I may be scared
but that don't mean a thing
today's not been a good day
but it don't go on forever
maybe I'll wake up tomorrow
and things will be a little better
hope's a natural reaction
that will not be ignored
I don't believe in losing anymore
Monday, July 9, 2012
down by the edge of town
where the water runs down
down where the weeds grow high
north of the county line
there's a place I've never seen
but I hear it's pretty mean
and they call it hobo jungle
back when I was a kid
I remember my mama said
son if you don't start walking straight
boy it will be your fate
you'll wind up like those men
whose dreams come to an end
down in hobo jungle
so I studied hard and played the game
obedience was my middle name
and I did what I was told
till my head was gonna explode
to be continued...
(last verse 7/9/2012)
but every now and then
those thoughts come back again
and I dream of hobo jungle
Sunday, July 8, 2012
I am so tired of myself
tired of my thoughts
I am not entertained enough today
by my trusty imagination
it's been overworked
and at any point
it may start rebelling
not that I blame it, no sir
in fact, I may join it
it may be the only way
reality could get
its foot in the door
Friday, July 6, 2012
What's up, farmboy?
I have completely wasted today. I have done nothing. All I've done is hang out on the internet and sleep. I've only played one song on the guitar, and I forced myself to do that. And what's really weird is that I barely even felt guilty about it.
Maybe you needed to rest, farmboy. Were you tired? What did you do yesterday? I know you went out for the Fourth of July.
Yesterday was an interesting day. It was kinda, well, intense in a strange way. I told you that I got this grant to play music for children with disabilities, right? I went for the first one this summer and it was fuckin' great. It was one of those moments when you surprise yourself, you know? I gave this energetic performance and I could see the joy in some of these children at the sound of music. Which is something that I greatly relate to, of course.
Then after that, I heard this song that just knocked me flat. It was by this guy named El-P and I think it was called something like "From Your Upstairs Neighbor." I heard it on a podcast and I kept going back so I could hear it again. For hours I was affected by this song. I have not had that happen for a long time.
Then I went to the songwriters' night at the coffeehouse. I socialized and I performed. I made myself perform. It was a good night. It was a good day, man.
So you had what sounds like a pretty big day yesterday. Give yourself a break and forgive yourself. The stuff you need to do can be done tomorrow.
I guess it'll be okay. I guess. It was so strange, though, it was like I just accepted it. Usually I'd feel way guilty.
You sound like you're feeling guilty now about not feeling guilty.
(laughs) Maybe that's what it is. Man, I am so fuckin' fucked up sometimes.
No you're not, farmboy. Come on! Give yourself a break.
That's what I did today: I gave myself a break.
It's fine, farmboy. No need to panic.
Okay, okay. Tomorrow will come soon enough. I still need to play some guitar, though. Right?
Only if you want.
I'm going to. It'll make me feel better. Plus I need all the playing I can get. And, oh yeah, it's fun and satisfying.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Just got home, man. Happy Fourth of July!
Same to you, farmboy. Did you go out tonight?
Yeah. I had a good time. Went to see some friends of mine from the coffeehouse. We stayed outside and ate and mostly played music and laughed and stuff. It was good. I've been feeling isolated lately,and I needed to go out. What did you do?
Stayed home and watched the fireworks. There were lots of people out on the street lighting them up. It was fine, but I feel bad about the animals.
I know. I feel bad for them too. It must be terrifying for them.
I'm gonna go to bed, man, but it's been a good night. I am so thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for music, and I'm thankful that I didn't spend the day alone or depressed or worried. (yawns) Man, I'm tired.
Get some sleep, farmboy.
You too, man. See you later.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
everything is uncertain
a question mark
up in the air
sometimes I get to hurting
when I look at myself
so damn unprepared
is it any wonder
and even though I know it
I try not to show it
though I always know that it's there
but there's one fact I know is true
I will make it through
I always do
Monday, July 2, 2012
So I gotta get this outta the way, man. I can be sort of obsessive about details sometimes. Anyway, I want you to know that Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday is July 14.
Thanks, farmboy. I can tell that this is important to you. That's in about two weeks. You might want to consider writing something.
I'd like to. I need to figure out what to say. But two weeks...it would be nice to write something, if only for myself.
So how is everything going?
You know, in a way it's fuckin' hard, man. Without a job to go to -- and with the money problems weighing me down every fuckin' day -- it's hard to keep up any level of self-worth, which is pretty precarious to begin with. And it's so fuckin' easy to get depressed and kinda non-functioning.
Today, man, well, it was interesting, you know? I was at the computer just feeling mighty low. I would tell myself "just play one song." Or "just address these envelopes" or "just clean up one thing." And I was lucky, I guess -- it just snowballed and I did all this cleaning stuff, shit I never do. So it hasn't been a bad day.
That's great, farmboy. That's action.
Yeah, but it's not earning-money sort of action.
But it's still action, farmboy. I've been over to your apartment, and. well...I hope you don't mind me saying this...but it could use some cleaning. Which is what you've been doing today. So don't discount what you've done.
Yeah, I know. I'm just worried. And scared.
I know, farmboy, but it will be okay. Really. You're a smart guy and you've got a good work ethic. If you can, do what you can and rest soundly at night. I know it's been tough with this bronchial infection and you haven't been sleeping well for a while.
Yeah. It sucks. Been drinking tea, man, been eating soup.
Um...vegetables and tofu and noodles in a chicken broth. Love those hot liquids, man.
So I am going to go to bed, and I'm looking mighty forward to it.
Have a good rest, farmboy.
Yep. Thanks, man. You too.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
So right now I'm listening to this public radio show called American Routes. It's this really great show about roots music that's produced in Louisiana. Anyway, they're doing this show about Woody Guthrie. This year is, like, the year he would be 100 years old, I think. Happy birthday, Woody Guthrie.
He's one of the greats, farmboy.
You don't have to tell me twice, man. He's an amazing songwriter. Fuckin' incredible. Dig this quote, man:
I hate a song that makes you think you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim. Too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I'm out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you.
I mean, that quote makes me want to fuckin' cry, man. 'Cause I've always felt like I don't have a right to anything in this world. I'm undeserving. And that quote reminds me that I do have a place in this world. His songs, man, they're empowering.
That's the kind of songs that the world needs. Songs about real people, real subjects...
Songs that are written because they need to be written. These are not those paint-by-numbers songs that are written solely for the reason of making money. Or at least the songs that sound like they were only written to make money. I mean, I don't think there's anything wrong with earning money for your craft. But those songs that just manipulate you...fuck, man, I have no need for those songs. No matter what anyone says, those songs aren't written for me.
There's a lot of songs like that, I'm afraid.
I've tried to write them, and they never turn out any good. It feels like you're just fuckin' lying to people. And that's...man, I don't know. I don't like judging other songwriters, all I know is that I don't want to write that way. So I guess Woody Guthrie is kind of a role model for me.
You could do worse, farmboy.
Yeah. And I don't know if I could do any better than having Woody as my main man, man.